Parker, Spurs run away with Game One

By Joe Buettner

Apr 29, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) dunks against the Utah Jazz during the first half of game one in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the AT

Without a doubt, everyone knew after Game One why Tony Parker has been “the guy” and a MVP candidate for San Antonio this season. Parker dropped 28 points, 8 assists on 10-19 shooting in a 15-point victory over Utah.

Spurs opened up the 2012 playoffs by taking the first game, 106-91, and how are they rewarded? Two days off. Two days for these guys to recharge their batteries and come out again on Wednesday to try and take a 2-0 lead before the series goes to Salt Lake City.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, though, let’s focus on what just happened in the Alamo City. The Spurs once again came out of a game in a convincing manner thanks to big games by Tony Parker and Tim Duncan.

Utah was very aggressive and physical with the Spurs, and their size definitely posed a challenge. However, San Antonio made up for it by winning the turnover battle, as well as continuing to make life hell through their ball movement.

Defensively, San Antonio was solid in the fact they had a total of 10 steals, which balanced out the 8 blocks by the Utah Jazz. Ultimately, the Spurs sped up the pace to force Utah to take more shots, and they were not falling for Ty Corbin’s club.

San Antonio worked themselves to score quickly and score often, and it will be huge for them to stay consistent with that throughout the rest of the series.

However, this was nowhere near a great game for the Spurs. Ginobili had some emphatic dunks and had a few impossible passes, but ended the day with just seven points and four assists. Obviously it didn’t hurt the Spurs too much, because he did a lot of things off of the box score.

Manu certainly was a spark plug for the offense when subbing in for Danny Green. Skrilla was a bit off his game, but out of the Spurs’ 2-guards today, Stephen Jackson contributed the most to the point total.

Jackson scored 14 points on 4-8 shooting (2-4 from long range), and the only Spur perfect from the charity stripe (4-4).

Though, one guy I was hoping see more of was Tiago Splitter. Only four points and a rebound in a total of seven minutes before he left the game due to a sprained left wrist.

The team has not released details on his status as of yet, but with the time between games, hopefully he can be back for a series against the Grizzlies or Clippers assuming San Antonio advances past the Jazz.

Splitter is a key component, and without him, the Spurs will struggle losing their only true center.

Action picks up at the AT&T Center Wednesday night, and San Antonio can not be so reliant on Tony Parker and will need to match Utah’s physicality to avoid dropping one before they head west for Game Three at Energy Solutions Arena.